6.5/10
8,844
137 user 91 critic

Burnt Offerings (1976)

A family moves into a large old mansion that seems to have a mysterious and maybe even sinister power over their actions.

Director:

Dan Curtis

Writers:

Robert Marasco (novel), William F. Nolan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,327 ( 2,905)
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Karen Black ... Marian Rolf
Oliver Reed ... Ben Rolf
Burgess Meredith ... Arnold Allardyce
Eileen Heckart ... Roz Allardyce
Lee Montgomery ... David Rolf (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Dub Taylor ... Walker
Bette Davis ... Aunt Elizabeth
Joseph Riley Joseph Riley ... Ben's Father
Todd Turquand Todd Turquand ... Young Ben
Orin Cannon Orin Cannon ... Minister
Jim Myers Jim Myers ... Dr. Ross
Anthony James ... The Chauffeur
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Storyline

Ben and Marian Rolf rent a grand old country mansion as a summer getaway for themselves, their twelve year old son Davey, and Ben's Aunt Elizabeth. They feel they can't turn down the rent deal offered to them by the house's owners, siblings Roz and Arnold Allardyce, despite some reservations. First amongst those reservations, they are to take care of the house on their own, which Ben feels is too big a job, especially for Marian and the interior housekeeping. In Marian's words, the large size of the house is a "waste". And second and perhaps more important amongst those reservations, the Allardyces' aged mother will be staying in her room at the house, the Rolfs who are to provide a tray of food left outside her room three times a day, which Marian vows to take care of on her own, with no other members of the family to go into that isolated wing of the house so as not to disturb Mrs. Allardyce's peace. Upon their arrival at the house for the first day of their stay, they find a note ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Up the ancient stairs, behind the locked door, something lives, something evil, from which no one has ever returned. [UK] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pesadilla diabólica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first movie to be filmed at the Dunsmuir House. See more »

Goofs

At the end of film the mansion-house chimney is seen to become unstable, collapsing and ultimately falling on top of David - he is killed. During this time however the chimney breaks up so slowly that the observant child would have had enough time to get out of the way of such a dangerous hazard. See more »

Quotes

Roz Allardyce: God when it comes alive - tell them, Brother. Tell them what it's like in the summer.
Arnold Allardyce: Well they'd never believe it - it's beyond *anything* that you have you *ever* seen in your life.
Roz Allardyce: There are centuries in this room, Mrs. Rolf... there are years, years in this house.
Arnold Allardyce: Oh yes, and this house will be here long, long after you have departed. You'll believe me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blue Nude (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Atmospheric chiller
20 July 2006 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Talky, but unusual and creepy haunted house movie concerns an ordinary family from the city who rent a country estate for the summer--at a suspiciously low price! A bit confusing at first, but whenever something bad happens (like the father cutting his thumb on the champagne bottle) something good immediately takes its place (the kid switching on what was previously a dead light bulb). The house absorbs the good (the sacrificial new family's spirit and energy) while its inhabitants wither away, physically or mentally. Bette Davis' Aunt Elizabeth ages suddenly (with frighteningly effective make-up), and Anthony James as the chauffeur who haunts Oliver Reed's head is a scary, freaky presence. Karen Black is even odder than usual: I'm not certain whether her not-quite-there expression is what was intended for the role of Marion, but she does something very gutsy for an actress, making herself into a gargoyle (only in her final scene does she overdo it). Superior to the source novel by Robert Marasco, "Burnt Offerings" (the title taken from a biblical reference) is a well-directed slice of the macabre. *** from ****


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